KPD graduates six in 94th recruit class

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Police Chief Todd Raybuck, center, presents the six newest Kaua‘i Police Department officers, including Arven Roi Bunao, Branden Ray Juan Barroga, Kaleb Poree, Chief Raybuck, Il Hwan Yum, Ian Ikaika Cowden, and Blake Akihiko Saito, Thursday following the graduation of the 94th Recruit Class at the Kaua‘i Police Department building.

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department held a small outdoor ceremony on Thursday for its 94th Police Recruit Class graduates.

Branden Ray J. Barroga, Arven Roi Bunao, Ian I. Cowden, Kaleb M. Poree, Blake A. Saito and Il Hwan Yum were announced as the department’s 94th Recruit Class in the company of their immediate household family members, a few of KPD’s commanders, as well as special guests including Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, who was a guest speaker, Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Kaua‘i County Council Public Safety Chair Felicia Cowden and Kaua‘i Police Commission Chair Catherine Adams.

“It’s not a secret that finding and retaining police officers is something that our County and our State continue to struggle with. That is because making the choice to put your life on the line while being exposed to constant scrutiny and rising expectations is not something very exciting or appealing to the average person,” Kawakami said. “Not many are willing to take on such an important responsibility. But today, we have six individuals who are willing and who are able to serve and protect our community. They came from all parts of life – from locally-born and raised to serving our country protecting our freedoms to formerly working in the FBI. And we give them, along with all of our officers in blue, and their ‘ohana, our utmost respect and honor.”

KPD Captain Mark Ozaki served as the Master of Ceremonies, Lieutenant Kenneth P. K. Cummings presented the 94th Recruit Class, and Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck expressed congratulatory remarks at Thursday’s ceremony at KPD headquarters in Lihuʿe.

“As you begin your career as a police officer, remember to follow this simple rule: treat others as you would want a police officer to treat a member of your family—with fairness, friendship, impartiality and respect,” Raybuck said. “You are now ambassadors of every man and woman that wears the uniform. Every interaction you have with the public will shape the view of all officers. Your profession is not just a job, it’s a commitment—a commitment to serve others, strengthen relationships with those we serve, and enhance the quality of life in our community.”

Poree received the Physical Fitness Award for demonstrating a high level of physical abilities on a consistent basis during their training.

Cowden received the Marksmanship Award for an outstanding skill level in firearms proficiency and safe handling.

Yum was honored as the Most Outstanding Recruit for excelling in all areas of the rigorous training while building camaraderie in the group.

The graduation began with an invocation by Police Chaplain Kevin Cram and concluded with the ceremonial pinning of badges by household family members, followed by the recruits taking a police officer oath in front of the audience.

During the ceremony, the recruits expressed gratitude toward their families and fellow classmates for their support, as well as their training cadre, including Sergeant Alan Santella and Sergeant Len Nitta, for their wealth of knowledge and expertise.

The ceremony was made possible by the collective efforts of several individuals within the department, such as Lieutenant Cummings, Lieutenant Darren Rose, Sergeant Darla Nonaka, Sergeant Lance Okasaki, Sergeant Phil Banquel, Officer Bobby Thompson and Officer Morris Unutoa.

The police recruit graduation ceremony is the culmination of six months of classroom and reality-based training. Following graduation, each police services officer was assigned a field training officer to shadow for the next four months.

Upon successful completion of the 16-week program, the officers will be released from training to assume patrol assignments.

10 Comments
  1. merri June 25, 2021 6:56 am Reply

    It is nice to see Raybuck’s request for behaviour of the new officers. Too Bad the Fire Department does not request the same of their staff.


  2. manongindashadow0711 June 25, 2021 9:06 am Reply

    Are they fresh out of the Boys Scout with Eagle Badges? They look so young and look like the still play video games.
    Hopefully they remember their oath “to serve and protect” and remember ,”it’s the real world job!” Not something out of a video game!


  3. I saw a Vampire once June 25, 2021 10:01 am Reply

    If you have a circumstantial evidence for murder, like a stolen car, can you charge them against their will?

    And they say it was a borrowed car. And what murder charge? How would KPD handle this?

    I can see lawyers getting rich. And KPD being sued.

    Case #1


  4. MisterM June 25, 2021 6:57 pm Reply

    Hilarious. Their hats are bigger than they are.


  5. Merci June 25, 2021 9:10 pm Reply

    Congratulations! And thank you for taking on a major responsibility, especially in these trying times.


  6. Barney Rubble June 26, 2021 5:06 am Reply

    Would like to see how they selected the son of a Hawaii mafia boss and how they protected his brother the Kauai serial killer.


  7. knowitall June 26, 2021 6:38 am Reply

    New KPD rule… no one is allowed to taller than the Chief


  8. Kauaidoug June 26, 2021 6:53 am Reply

    Ok, now I am feeling old but also very proud to see one of my school bus kids in the line up. I think it is great to see these young men step up for their community. My bus rider was a straight shooter then and I see he still is. Congratulations to all. Must have been some parents and family there very proud. Well done!


  9. manongindashadow0711 June 26, 2021 9:41 pm Reply

    People change once he/she wears a badge of authority!


  10. manongindashadow0711 June 26, 2021 9:56 pm Reply

    Wearing a badge and a gun is a lot of authority for he/she . Hopefully they don’t abuse it!


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